Adler Planetarium

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Blogs

Welcome to the Adler's Blogs! Adler Transmissions provides you with the latest news and views from Adler's astronomers, curators, partners, and programming staff. From Earth to distant planets and beyond, This Week in Space discusses the latest discoveries and accomplisments in science, space, and technology.

Planning for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Have you made your hotel reservations yet? Because in three years, on August 21, 2017, you will have the chance to witness one of the most awesome spectacles of Nature --- a total eclipse of the Sun. 

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A Bump in the Night

Surprisingly, even right here in light polluted downtown Chicago, on a clear Moonless night you can photograph faint star clusters and gas clouds within the Milky Way...

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Voyager Map Details Neptune's Strange Moon Triton

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. Like an old film, Voyager’s historic footage of Triton has been “restored” and used to construct the best-ever global color map of that strange moon.

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Curiosity Rover is Having Wheel Problems

Mission managers didn’t anticipate that Curiosity would be driving over an area on Mars that has pyramid-shaped rocks embedded into hard ground, as it traverses Mars.

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Stardust Team Reports Discovery of First Potential Interstellar Space Particles

Seven rare, microscopic interstellar dust particles that date to the beginnings of the solar system are among the samples collected by scientists who have been studying the payload from NASA's Stardust spacecraft since its return to Earth in 2006. If confirmed, these particles would be the first samples of contemporary interstellar dust.

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Tips to Minimize Moon and Optimize 2014′s Perseid Meteor Shower

In 2014, the legendary Perseid meteor shower is expected to produce the greatest number of meteors between midnight and dawn on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. 

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Rosetta Arrives at Target Comet

After a decade-long journey chasing its target, the European Space Agency's Rosetta, carrying three NASA instruments, became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet. 

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Watch for Falling Stars!

On any given night, the sky is alive with light --- the Moon, planets, and the stars. If you stare at the sky long enough, you will see a "shooting star" --- a brief streak of light, blazing a trail across the sky.

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NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload to Explore the Red Planet as Never Before

The next rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 will carry seven carefully-selected instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet.

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Visualize Venus Express Aerobraking

The European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft has now been boosted back into a higher orbit following a month of maneuvers that let the craft venture so near Venus that it was aerobraking, or slowing down due to drag from the planet’s thick atmosphere.

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Vatican Observatory “Science Guy” Wins Carl Sagan Medal

When you think of famous public science communicators, Jesuit astronomers might not immediately spring to mind, but you can find one discussing the scientific and philosophical aspects of the question, “Why did the Universe begin?” in Adler's The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time exhibition.

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The Most Precise Measurement of an Alien World's Size

Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body.

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Insta-Mars: Crew Wraps Up Mock Mission With Pictures Of Their Hawaiian Adventure

It’s the final countdown for a hardy group of people who have been on “Mars” for the past four months. On Friday, July 25, the HI-SEAS crew will make their return after simulating Red Planet exploration in Hawaii.

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Astronomers Invite the Public to Help Name Exoplanets and Their Stars

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced on July 9, 2014 that it has developed a plan for public participation in the naming of exoplanets – distant planets outside our solar system – and their stars. Their worldwide NameExoWorlds contest will open in September 2014.

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Inspiring Youth to Participate in STEM

Since my first computer at age five, I’ve had a passion for technology as a platform to solve complex problems. I enjoy discussing new and exciting ideas, collaborating with others, and tackling big challenges. 

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Titan's Building Blocks Might Pre-date Saturn

A combined NASA and European Space Agency (ESA)-funded study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud. The finding rules out the possibility that Titan's building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.  

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The Summer Solstice

The Sun's passage through the summer solstice technically marks the beginning of summer. It is the longest day of the year. The hottest days of the year, when we say it is summer, follow the summer solstice. That's because the Earth, its atmosphere, and its oceans retain their heat for a while after the actual solstice.

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Herschel Sees Budding Stars and a Giant, Strange Ring

The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a weird ring of dusty material while obtaining one of the sharpest scans to date of a huge cloud of gas and dust, called NGC 7538. The observations have revealed numerous clumps of material, a baker's dozen of which may evolve into the most powerful kinds of stars in the universe.

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Moon Formed from Earth Collision with Planet-Sized Body: New Evidence

A new series of measurements of oxygen isotopes provides increasing evidence that our moon formed from the collision of the Earth with another large, planet-sized astronomical body, around 4.5 billion years ago.

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Light from 12 Billion Year Old Explosion Reaches Earth

Intense light from the enormous explosion of a star more than 12 billion years ago — shortly after the Big Bang — recently reached Earth and was visible in the sky.

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